The Government is continuing its investment in regional crime prevention initiatives that tackle the causes of youth crime, keep young people out of the justice system and on the right track for a bright future.
Minister for Crime Prevention Anthony Carbines visited Shepparton to confirm that the Government will contribute $13.6 million in the Victorian Budget 2023/24 towards the Youth Crime Prevention Program to continue delivering services that address the causes of youth offending.
Child rights organisation 54 Reasons is one of 14 bodies managing youth crime prevention initiatives in Victoria to have its funding extended by the Budget investment.
54 Reasons works with young people facing significant challenges in their lives. Its OutTeach project has received $350,000 to continue providing education and support to local youth across the Greater Shepparton area, bringing the total government investment in OutTeach to $1.27 million since 2016.
OutTeach employs teachers and youth workers who work two-on-one with each young person to help them develop the confidence and skills to access mainstream education and vocational opportunities.
OutTeach also helps participants improve their literacy and numeracy skills, helps remove social barriers that prevent young people engaging in education, and increases engagement in social activities so young people can develop a positive network of peers and healthy relationships.
The Youth Crime Prevention Program addresses offending behaviour and recidivism among young people aged 10 to 24 years who have had contact with, or who are at risk of being involved with the criminal justice system.
Services funded through the program build on strong local ideas to respond to the needs of young people and address important service gaps to improve access to support.
Since 2016, the Government has invested more than $40 million in the Youth Crime Prevention Program.
A 2022 evaluation found a 29 per cent reduction in offending and a 24 per cent reduction in the severity of offending for participants who completed the program.
More than 4,800 young people have been supported through the program since 2016. This includes 1,800 young people receiving intensive support and 3,000 young people engaged in activities to give them the right skills and education to prevent offending.